A new study from Harvard School of Public Health and published in the journal Environmental Health found that commonly-found toxins in plastics are linked to both general obesity and abdominal obesity. Known as Bisphenol A or BPA for short, these hormone disruptors have been primarily found in plastic, including plastic food and beverage packaging.
Harvard scientists studied the effects of BPA to see low-dose exposures of the toxin increased abdominal or general fat in humans. They were aware of previous studies showing that low-dose BPA increased obesity in rodents. The scientists assessed the urinary BPA concentrations, body mass index, and waist circumference in 2747 adult men and women ranging in age from 18 to 74.
Their findings aren’t surprising given the toxin is a known hormone and metabolism disruptor. The higher the urinary concentrations of BPA (indicating higher exposures), the more likely a person was obese and experiencing abdominal obesity. The adults with the highest amounts of BPA in their urine were 75 percent more likely to be obese than those with the lowest amounts of BPA.
They concluded that “higher BPA exposure is associated with general and central obesity in the general adult population in the United States.”
As a result of studies like the Harvard one, toxins like BPA, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), and phthalates are increasingly being referred to as “obesogens.”
6 Ways to Reduce Your BPA Exposure
1. Avoid plastic water bottles. Get a high quality, BPA-free stainless steel reusable water bottle and refill it.
2. Avoid using plastic food storage containers. Opt for glass or stainless steel instead.
3. Avoid microwaving food in plastic containers.
4. If you must use any plastic, be sure it is BPA-free.
5. Stop using plastic cooking utensils. Choose renewable bamboo instead.
6. If you’re choosing plastic toys for children, be sure they are BPA-free.
5 Other Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself
1. Eat a diet high in fiber since fiber binds to toxins like BPA to help escort them out of the body.
2. Eat more beans.
3. Add a scoopful of brown rice fiber to your smoothie or as a supplement to bind to BPA.
4. Drink green tea to help burn fat.
5. Use metabolism-boosting spices like cayenne and other chilies.